Rodeo rides high on Easter weekend

Great Western Rodeo organiser Danny Hoare was pleased with the crowds packing in for plenty of exciting Easter action.

About 4000 people enjoyed more than six hours of entertainment provided on Friday in the 19th annual rodeo in the town. Hoare said it was a great turnout, with a stronger focus on the event attracting families this year.

“It went really well, numbers might have been a bit down on last year but we still had about 4000 people there which was great,” he said.

“There was a lot more children there this year, so obviously there were more families which is always a positive.

“It is always good to see the kids there.”

The five hour main rodeo consisted of bull riding, bronco busting, battle racing and calf roping with 180 competitors spread across the events.

Hoare said the rodeo is constantly improving the experience for spectators each year and this year was no different.

“We had the big screen there for the first time this year,” he said.

“So people could watch the replays and we could advertise a little bit on it as well which was something different.”

Hoare also praised the behaviour of the crowd during the event.

“Everything went smoothly, we really like the crowd to have a good time and not have issues and we had no trouble at all this year which was good to see,” he said.

“There were also no injuries during the rodeo which is also a positive.”

The organising committee were very happy with the event overall, especially maintaining the same competitor numbers as last year.

Hoare said it was important to continue building, as the event is now a permanent fixture on the Grampians’ Easter calendar each year.

“Some places only get two or three competitors in the bull ride event and we had nearly 20 on Friday,” he said.

“So that shows we are popular and able to attract plenty of competition to the event each year.”

The rodeo is the Great Western Lions Football and Netball Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Hoare said the success of the rodeo was critical to the future of the club.

“It is pretty essential to the future success of the club,” he said.

“Without the event, the club would struggle to be able to continue on.

“The rodeo is a three day commitment for all the people who help set it up.

“So we are grateful for their help across the weekend.”

The event was also open to campers who wished to camp at the venue, something that will continue next year.

The committee will take a break with planning for the 2018 event set to start in November ahead of the 20th Great Western Rodeo next year.